The Innovator’s Cure: Sell…Or Die A Slow And Painful Death!

14 12 2012

It’s like being kicked in the ribs…after being punched in the gut.

Such is the feeling of the innovator following the war of buy-in and implementation with regard to the next great innovation.  It has nothing to do with whether or not a decision was made to move forward.  It does not have anything to do with success or failure or the ultimate impact the innovation may have on the organization.

As described in The Innovators Curse, the process caused frustrations throughout the organization.  And it was human nature to take the pushback personally.  Over the years, I felt targeted, isolated, powerless, unappreciated, unsupported and impatient.  My typical reaction had been to relentlessly push forward.   With the innovation as the battleground, I would wage war on the organization until I felt victorious.  Of course any “victory” was hollow indeed.


Over the years, I had found that “successful” innovation had taken its toll on me.  Without fail, regardless of success or failure, I had needed time to recover.  Unfortunately, the time needed for recovery had grown over time.  During the process of “licking my wounds”, I had felt as if I would rather wrap myself around the operations of the organization which would eliminate the need for me to lead innovation again.  Then, typically, there would be an unresolved issue lingering over the company.  And, like throwing a dog a bone, I would not be able to help myself.  My brain would start churning and innovative solutions would blurt out of my mouth.  I could not stop myself.  Like a punch-drunk boxer, I kept going into the ring.  This is the innovator’s curse.

This was just not working.  There had to be a more effective way.  I needed a very different strategy in order to remain healthy, interested in continuing my innovative ways and remaining engaged and effective within the organization.

First of all, I needed to stop taking this whole “innovation” thing personally.  No one was doing this to me.  Everyone had their own personalities, their own experiences and their own agenda.   None of that had anything to do with “David Sussman”.


Second of all, I needed to relax and make my personal timelines for implementation much longer.  I would always be willing to move more rapidly should support for the innovation become apparent quickly, but I should not be willing to go at that pace alone.  I needed to give the idea more time to germinate and grow. I needed to be patient and wait for a clear consensus.

Third of all, I needed an entirely new strategy to gain buy-in.  I needed to work much harder with this process well in advance.  I needed to improve my presentations and gain the support of other key executives by demonstrating the issues more dramatically.  I needed them on my side as champions of the cause.

And for the Holy Grail of an Eye-Cubed Leader…I needed to…..SELL.  Drink from this challis and you will be cured from the innovator’s curse.

Plant the seed of innovation in the minds of those around you, plant the solution there as well and ultimately allow for others to develop the solution on their own and as their own.  They would then own the innovation and champion it through the organization.  You then would become a cheerleader and lead blocker clearing the path for the innovation rather than the quarterback, pitcher, coach, GM and owner all wrapped in one.  It is the ultimate sale, selling buy-in.


By following the above, I believed I would see more of my ideas move through the company than ever before.  And that is exactly what happened.  And now you might ask, “How does one gain this type of buy-in?  Check out the next Eye-Cubed post, Planting The Seeds Of Inspiration:  The Key to Unlock Your Innovation, for the answer.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 




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